Monthly Archives: February 2014

Good News Friday: A baby gets born on the streets of NYC. The math teacher who volunteers as a baby-hugger. And strangers give their coat to a little boy who’s cold

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And a happy Friday to you out there on the Interwebs. Our first GNF story this week comes from my own neighborhood. Literally, it happened about 10 blocks from my apartment.

A woman named Polly McCourt went into labor and gave birth on the Upper East Side of Manhattan Monday, on the corner of 68th Street and 3rd Avenue.

On the sidewalk.

While it’s not quite clear why McCourt didn’t have time to get to a hospital, she delivered the baby in broad daylight with onlookers standing by.
One woman, 20-year-old Isabel Williams, gave up her coat to use as a baby blanket once the infant was born, and the McCourts responded by (and how awesome is this) giving their child “Isabelle” as a middle name.

“That’s the sweetest thing I ever heard!” exclaimed Williams when reached by the New York Daily News on Tuesday night.

Very, very cool.

**One of my favorite shows that almost no one watches,  “CBS Sunday Morning,” has been on a pretty fantastic roll lately when it comes to heartwarming stories.

Last week’s show brought this wonderful little tale of Jim O’Connor, a gruff, 70-year-old high school teacher in California who appeared to his students to be a strict educator with little soft side or compassion.

Until one of the students went to volunteer at a hospital blood drive and discovered his tough old teacher has been doing amazingly sweet things for 20 years…

**Finally today, another commercial that just made me feel good. The Norwegian branch of the SOS Children’s Villages International charity, as part of a drive to collect warm clothing for displaced children in Syria, decided to try an experiment in human kindness.

They filmed an 11-year-old boy sitting at a bus stop in Oslo, Norway without a jacket on, to see what people’s reactions would be.
Nearly every single person filmed by a hidden camera offered the boy a coat, or gloves.

Simple kindnesses make the world a better place.

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Roger Angell, still brilliant at 93. A 6-year-old wins “show and tell” forever. And AC/DC as they were meant to be heard: On the cello.

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When I decided in high school that I wanted to be a sportswriter when I grew up, I asked around and read any interview I could find with people who were already sportswriters.
And inevitably, when they were asked which writer they admired most, Roger Angell’s name came up.

So I started reading Roger Angell books from the Commack Public Library. I read four of his collections of writings on baseball, in about a month, I think. And I got it. I understood.

There’s never been a more beautiful baseball writer than Roger Angell. The man is a poet disguised as a reporter, with sentences that leap off the page.
He’s a legend at The New Yorker magazine, and at 93 he’s still churning out gorgeous prose, amazingly.

He wrote this essay last week that’s just filled with exquisite sentences. It is, as you might expect, about what life is like at 93, and yet it’s so much more than that.

If there’s a master class in great writing taught anywhere in the world, Roger Angell ought to be on the syllabus. Take a few minutes and read this magnificent, moving, essay, and appreciate a master craftsman at work.

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**Next up, there was always a lot of pressure on kids during “Show and Tell” day, wasn’t there? You wanted to have something cooler than your friends, but it had to be special, it had to be unique.

Fiona Timonen (above), a 6-year-old in New Jersey, absolutely won “show and tell” at her school on Wednesday.
She had her dad, Finnish hockey star and current Philadelphia Flyer Kimmo Timmonen, bring in his bronze medal from the just-completed Sochi Olympics.
How cool did she feel at school?

**And finally today, nothing to see here. Just an AC/DC classic song being played on the cello.

“The Americans” is back, and you should definitely watch. Another ridiculous, hateful bill in Arizona. And a speedskating/Mario Kart mashup I enjoyed

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So my favorite show from 2013 is finally back on the air tonight, and if you’re not already watching “The Americans,” you really should be.

The spy thriller about two Russian spies posing an ordinary American family while living in Washington, D.C. in 1981 was sensational last year. The cast, including Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell as the spies, and Noah Emmerich as the FBI agent living across the street, is fantastic. The scripts are great, the drama intense, and of course the 1980s touches are fabulous.

The Jennings couple (Rhys and Russell) get into all kinds of danger, involving sex and violence, and yes, we know they’re the “bad guys” but you still root for them because it’s complicated and they’re fairly sympathetic at times.

Really great show that ended on a cliffhanger, but seems to pick up right where we left off last year.
One of the things “The Americans” does so well is maintain suspense and believability; of course we know in 2014 that the Soviets lost the Cold War, but every move and countermove that goes on in the show feels like it holds the weight of the future on its shoulders.

Watch “The Americans.” It’s on tonight on FX at 10 p.m. Almost guarantee that you’ll enjoy it.

**Next up, a little post-Winter Olympics blues got you down? Here’s a speedskating race made to look like a game of Mario Kart, which I have played, badly, against my nephew for years now.

Super cool.

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**Finally, I almost hate to even bring up every hare-brained, hateful, idiotic bill passed in a red-state Legislature, but this one is pretty awful and has been getting a lot of national attention.

The state of Arizona has seen its elected officials pass SB 1062, which allows business owners to deny service or goods to gay and lesbian customers if the owners assert their religious beliefs.

It is so despicable, so heinous, that it’s almost beyond getting outraged about, just one of those bills you shake your head at and wonder what’s wrong with the brains of those who passed it.

Gov. Jan Brewer, she of the equally-dubious anti-immigration bill from a few years ago, hasn’t said whether she’ll sign or veto it, but signs are pointing toward a veto.
I mean, when John McCain and the ACLU are on the same side of an issue, opposing this bill, what does that tell you about its odiousness?

These laws are going to keep cropping up in Republican-dominated state governments, and some are bound to become law. This is what happens when a small minority of a party gets to hold a hammer over the head of everyone else under their umbrella.

But hey, look at the bright side: Maybe in Arizona a religious person won’t have to sit next to a gay person in a pizza shop now. What an incredible burden to their religion that would’ve been!

I cross an item off my bucket list. Fallon and Timberlake, killin’ it again. And R.I.P., Harold Ramis

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Sometimes the opportunities to do something you’ve always wanted to do take months of planning and preparation.

Other times, the opportunity just kind of happens, almost accidentally.
Last weekend my wife and I had some friends in town, a great couple who’d never been to New York City before. So we showed them around on Saturday, went to the Empire State Building, Union Square, Washington Square Park (where as always, there were delightfully kooky street performers), the whole nine yards.

Sunday we went to Rockefeller Center and as we were walking I mentioned that the famous ice skating rink was open. My friend’s eyes lit up.
“Wanna do it?” I asked.

I’d never been skating at Rockefeller Center, but had always wanted to. It always seemed like such a “New York tourist” thing to do, but I always thought it looked cool.  The rink is much smaller than it looks on TV, but
As a kid I never knew how to skate, so that was an obstacle, and then when I learned to ice skate as an adult, I just never had the opportunity. The rink was either always too crowded, or the people I was with didn’t want to, or I didn’t live in New York …. whatever, there was always a reason.

But Sunday it was 50 degrees, the ice was mostly empty, and I had willing participants in my wife and friends.

And so we paid the crazy-high fee for skate rentals and ice time, and I got to fulfill a small dream.
Couple things I learned:
— Not having skated for the past nine years means I was kind of rusty. OK, really rusty. I fell once and nearly fell a few other times. Fortunately, most of the other people on the ice had no idea what they were doing, either.
— Even when you do know what you’re doing, it’s a little dangerous skating there. Even though it wasn’t crowded, I still saw a whole bunch of near-collisions among perfect strangers who were slipping and falling. One guy fell and his cellphone flew across the ice about 20 feet like a hockey puck. Good times.

After less than a half-hour, I was exhausted. But happy. And definitely thinking I need to take some skating lessons again.

**Next up, Jimmy Fallon had Justin Timberlake on his show Friday night to cap his first week replacing Jay Leno, and so of course they did another installment of their “History of Rap.” These are always funny, though I can’t help but think Run DMC and the others think it’s weird that millions of Americans are watching two white dudes sing their songs on national TV, 20 years after they came out.

**Finally today, a small tribute to Harold Ramis, the 1980s movie comedy legend who died Monday at age 69.

Responsible for classics like “Ghostbusters” and “Groundhog Day” (along with the overrated “Caddyshack,” and yes I realize I just angered many of you with that comment), Ramis made us laugh for quite a while.

My favorite of his films was “Groundhog Day,” and so for your viewing pleasure, a little does of Ned Ryerson:

Jason Collins makes history and knocks down barriers. Some thoughts on the end of the Olympics. And the fine art of professional cuddling

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Sunday night, sports history was made.

Sports history that was long, long overdue. History that most of us thought would’ve been made at the start of this NBA season, not now, in late February.

But change moves at its own pace sometimes, no matter how much we try to force it along.
Jason Collins played for the Brooklyn Nets Sunday night, and played 11 solid minutes in the team’s win over the Lakers.

It can no longer be said that no openly gay players have played in the four major team sports in America. A giant, 7-foot tall crack in the wall of bigotry and intolerance was blown open Sunday.

Some people say it isn’t a big deal, that he’s just a 35-year-old washed-up center being called on by a Nets team desperate for some frontcourt depth.

But it is a huge deal. Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal makes the eloquent case here. Excerpt from the column:

“Yes: We are going to get to the point where it will no longer be a big deal. There will be other players who come forward like Collins and the college football standout Michael Sam and the MLS soccer player Robbie Rogers, and after a while it will no longer present itself as a major cultural moment. This is the way the world is going; this momentum in professional sports feels irreversible. The groundbreaking may start to feel routine. But it’s no reason to not admire the ones breaking the ground.”

Couldn’t agree more. Sunday was a great day for tolerance and acceptance in America.

As Andy Dufrane once said: “Hope, is a good thing.”

**Next up, something that should cheer up all you single, lonely people out there: There are professional cuddlers out there, who you can hire to hug and spoon with you. They’re called “hugging therapists.”

Yes, it sounds crazy. But I totally would’ve considered this when I was all by myself. Look how content these people in the video look!

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**Sunday night brought the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics, and as always, I’m sad to see them go.
I know some people don’t care about the Olympics, and here in New York, with a million other sports stories to worry about, like Derek Jeter and spring training for the Mets and the continued abomination of the Knicks, the Olympics got lost for a lot of people I know.

But I love them. Every two years I get wrapped up in the bobsled and the skeleton and the crazy costumes and the swimming and the gymnastics and all the pageantry and heart-tugging commercials.
This year was no exception; a few parting thoughts from what I thought were a pretty entertaining Sochi Games:

— Boy that USA men’s hockey team really collapsed, eh? What a disappointment. Losing to Canada in the semis, 1-0, is one thing, but collapsing in the bronze medal game and giving up five goals to Finland? Awful.
— I watched some of the two-man bobsled competition and I continue to wonder what the guy in the back does. I mean, after the start is he just there for moral support?

— I think I’m not the only one pleasantly surprised that nothing blew up at the Olympics this year. Terrorism fears were all over the place two weeks ago, but the Russians did pull off a safe Olympics.

— Too safe, too, in one regard: I was really hoping at least one athlete who won a gold medal would offer up some sort of protest against the rampant state-sanctioned homophobia in Russia. But there was no 21st century Tommie Smith or John Carlos (look them up, kids, they were famous in 1968), and that made me sad.

— Finally, this Olympics has inspired me in at least one way: The wife and I are taking a curling lesson next Saturday on Long Island! (And yes, you’ll be reading about it).
I can’t wait.

Good News Friday: An amazing women’s hockey game won by Canada. A wonderful essay on stay-at-home Moms. And Dave Barry, always funny

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Probably going to spend Friday in a bad mood after Duke blew that game against the Tar Heels Thursday night. Made me mad. But hey, lots of other good stuff happening… like this awesome billboard. What if neither country was the Beebs?

I’ve watched tens of thousands of sporting events in my life, and probably hundreds of games contested by women at all levels.

Never seen a better women’s sporting event than Canada-USA women’s hockey, for the gold medal, at the Olympics Thursday.

Any idiot who thinks women’s sports can’t be as compelling as men’s should be forced, “Clockwork Orange”-style, to watch that magnificent game.

My heart was in my throat for the whole third period, when it looked like the American team would win, and was up 2-0.

Then Canada came back on a fluky goal, and it was 2-1, with 3:30 left. And the clock. Would. Not. Move. It looked like it was frozen.

So many reasons to root for Team USA in this one; Canada has won the last three gold medals in women’s ice hockey, and Team USA hadn’t won one since 1998.

Every time it looks like America is finally the equal of our neighbors to the north, Canada comes back and wins.

But this time, this time was different… especially when Canada pulled their goalie down a goal and the U.S. shot toward the empty net for a game-clinching score… and it went off the post.

So of course Canada ties it up in the final minute, and wins in overtime.

So heartbreaking. Loved the intensity of this game, the hitting (I thought there was no checking in women’s hockey?) the skill of players like Amanda Kessel, Julie Chu, Marie-Philip Poulin, Hayley Wickenheiser, etc.

Two very cool videos I want to share about this one. One, below, is the reaction of two Canada radio hosts, Tim and Sid, who were watching the game while on the air, then exploded with joy when it was over. Hilarious to watch Canadians trash-talk:

And then there’s this video of Team Canada singing their national anthem after getting their medals. Very, very cool.

And today, the men’s teams play each other. Time for some revenge

**Next up, a terrific story written by a man, Matt Walsh, who’s sick and tired of people thinking less of his wife because she’s a stay-at-home Mom. Walsh has been hearing all kinds of comments like the ridiculous “What does she do all day?” (His response:  “My wife never stops working. Meanwhile, it’s the middle of the afternoon and we’re both at a coffee shop. I’m sure my wife would love to have time to sit down and drink a coffee. It’s nice to get a break, isn’t it?”) and he’s tired of it.

His essay is eloquent, heartfelt, and one that everyone should read. Taking care of kids is a full-time job; ask anyone who’s ever tried it.

You go, Matt Walsh.

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**Finally today, I rarely link to Dave Barry’s pieces, but every time I read one I think, “Why don’t I read him more?”

Barry, formerly of the Miami Herald, just might be the funniest man in America, and if you’ve ever read any of his books (mostly collections of columns), you know how side-splitting he can be.

Here’s Barry’s column from today’s Wall Street Journal, an excerpt from his forthcoming book. It’s brilliant, as usual. Here’s an excerpt:

Today everything is convenient. You cook your meals by pushing a microwave button. Your car shifts itself, and your GPS tells you where to go. If you go to a men’s public restroom, you don’t even have to flush the urinal! This tedious chore is a thing of the past because the urinal now has a small electronic “eye” connected to the Central Restroom Command Post, located deep underground somewhere near Omaha, Neb., where highly trained workers watch you on high-definition TV screens and make the flush decision for you. (“I say we push the button.” “Wait, not yet!”)

The SI Swimsuit issue is a relic of the past. An ode to a Latvian hockey goalie. And a funny video with balancing goats

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Just a quick and chilling reminder as I, and millions of others, enjoy the spectacle of the Olympic Games from Russia, about just what kind of country these Games are being held in: Wednesday, members of the band Pussy Riot were whipped and beaten in public while trying to hold a protest performance. Watch the video; it’s horrifying.

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue arrived in the mail on Wednesday.

And I shrugged. I’ll probably look through it in a couple of days, ogle a few of the beauties in it (Kate Upton is beyond gorgeous in my book), and then toss it aside, never to be looked at again.

It’s kind of hard to overstate how much teenage boys with raging hormones like me in the 1980s and ’90s loved and looked forward to the SI Swimsuit issue.  We had no Cinemax, no Playboy channel, no Internet porn. We had the occasional pilfered Victoria’s Secret catalog from a friend’s house, and we had the SI swimsuit issue.

My friend Andrew’s dad knew a guy who knew a guy who used to get the covers blown up into posters each year, and we thought that was the greatest thing ever, to have Elle MacPherson and Kathy Ireland staring down at you while you lay in bed.

The Swimsuit issue meant something to us, because it was a little dirty, yeah, but it was Sports Illustrated, which made it OK.

Now any kid with a modem and a free minute of time can see 47 naked women any time he wants.

It’s kind of anachronistic that SI still puts out a swimsuit issue, even one as “classic” as this year’s 50th anniversary (can’t wait to see how well Christie Brinkley and Cheryl Tiegs have aged).

The innocence has been long gone, but SI still trudges along.

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**If you didn’t see the Canadian men’s hockey team’s 2-1 win over Latvia in the quarterfinals of the Olympic tournament in Sochi, I can understand you not caring too much about the game.

Canada is a much, much better team, they were expected to win, and they did, setting up a two-day festival of awesomeness of hockey, with America and our neighbor the north facing off Thursday for the gold medal in women’s hockey (noon on NBC), and the two nations facing off Friday at noon (on NBCSN) in the men’s semis.

But I want to write a few words about Canada’s win because of the amazing play of Latvia’s goalie.  Kristers Gudlevskis (above) is not anyone even hardcore hockey fans had heard of before Thursday, and he may never be heard from again.

But for one remarkable hockey game, he was as good as the best goalie in the world. Latvia had very little chance to win this game; they’re a tiny nation with only a handful of rinks, and it was a small miracle they even got this far.

And Canada pummeled Gudlevskis with 57 shots Thursday. Fifty-seven! That’s an enormous number. The Canadians came in waves, crashing shot after shot at Gudlevskis, but he kept stoning them and keeping the score tied at 1.

You saw Team Canada’s faces, and you saw frustration. Who in the hell was this Latvian goalie to ruin their Olympic dream?

The poor goalie was so exhausted they were giving him ice packs during stoppages of play, and he looked about ready to keel over several times. But he kept making save after save until finally, late in the third period, Canada scored to take the lead.

There are so many heroes who come out of any Olympic Games, and most of them are famous because they achieved glory.

But one of my enduring memories from Sochi is definitely going to be the little goalie for this little country, coming oh-so-close to giving Latvia their own “Miracle on Ice.”

**And finally, some mindless fun: A video of goats on a sort-of balance beam. I totally think this should be an Olympic event someday:

 

The Kansas legislature is bat-shit crazy. Jimmy Fallon takes over “Tonight Show.” And finally, someone in NY who’s enjoying the snow

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I continue to be fascinated by the debate over whether gay people in America should get treated as well as straight people.

Fascinated, and horrified that it’s still a debate. It still astounds me that there are millions of Americans who don’t think you should be treated equally and be allowed to marry simply because you love someone of the same sex.

Things are getting better, of course. But for every breakthrough like Michael Sam, there are still homophobic bigots like the scumbags in the Kansas state legislature.

Maybe you missed this story, in all the noise over the past week about the Olympics and the snowstorms and all that. But here’s what happened: The House of Representatives in Kansas legalized discrimination of gay people, in all ways.

According to this article in Slate, “A catch-all clause allows businesses and bureaucrats to discriminate against gay people so long as this discrimination is somehow “related to, or related to the celebration of, any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar arrangement.” (Emphases mine.) In other words, in theory, simply being in a gay relationship with any kind of official status could lose you your job or get you kicked out of a restaurant. And if you sued over this and lost, you’d be stuck with the other side’s attorney’s fees.”

So to recap: This bill would basically strip rights from gay people to do basically, anything in Kansas, and would criminalize any act whatsoever in public.

And this balled overwhelmingly passed the Kansas House.
Thankfully, before this Jim Crow-like law could pass, there was outrage across America, and the Kansas Senate Republicans suddenly decided this wasn’t a very good bill at all, and quickly killed it.

Oh, they’re not suddenly FOR equal treatment of gays, or think gay marriage or relationships are kosher. No, they just don’t like to think of what they’d like to do to gay people as “discrimination.”

“A strong majority of my members support laws that define traditional marriage, protect religious institutions and protect individuals from being forced to violate their personal moral values,” said the Senate leader Susan Wagle. “However, my members also don’t condone discrimination.”

Right. Of course they don’t, Susan.

How revolting that a law like this was even considered. As far as we’ve come on gay rights in 2014, we still have a long, long way to go. The fight is nowhere near over.

**So Jimmy Fallon took over the “Tonight Show” Monday night, and he was really good. Funny, self-deprecating, and enjoyable to watch.

So basically, the opposite of Jay Leno, his predecessor. I’ve always liked Fallon as a talk-show host, after not finding him very funny on “Saturday Night Live.” (sorry, but cracking yourself up with your own jokes is a turn-off.)

He’s clearly really talented, singing and dancing and doing great at rehearsed “skits” on his late-night show that used to air after Leno.

I think Fallon will do great as host of “The Tonight Show,” and cut into Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel’s ratings (though Kimmel is really funny, t00).

Frankly, I’m just glad Leno left. Now everyone on at 11 p.m. is funny and interesting.

**Finally today, we here in New York, and I’m sure most of you across America, are pretty damn sick of the snow. But here’s one guy who managed to have a good time on the snowy streets. Check out Casey Neistat as he soars around NYC while snowboarding.

Amazing he didn’t get hit by a car doing this. (start at :50 for the good parts).

The U.S. Olympic hockey team gives us our first awesome Sochi memory. Ellen Page eloquently comes out. And a crazy half-court shot by a college student

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Through the first week of competition, the Olympics haven’t given you too much to cheer about if you primarily root for Team USA.

Oh, we had a couple snowboarding gold medals, and some decent performances in figure skating, but by the by, the red white and blue have kinda disappointed.

Shaun White? Nothing. Shani Davis? No medals there. And Bode Miller? Until Sunday, he was a non-factor too.

We were looking for that first “Olympics” moment, us American fans were.  And Saturday morning, we got it.

A day and a half later, I’m still shaking my head over what I saw. USA 3, Russia 2, in as crazy and strange and thrilling a shootout as you’ll ever see.

First things first: I’m an enormous hockey fan, which you know. I love the shootout and defend it against many others when it comes to its use in the NHL regular season. But I would never in a million years end a Stanley Cup playoff game, or an Olympics game, with it. It’s a gimmick and not remotely close to “real hockey,” but the NHL regular season is such a grind that I like it there, it breaks up the monotony and is super-fun to watch.

But it shouldn’t be used in an Olympics, which is so rare and special as to happen once every four years.

Saturday’s game, all 65 minutes of it, was marvelous. The Russian crowd was going nuts, there was some controversy over a disallowed goal (a legit call by the refs, but a ballsy one to make in that situation), and the quality of play was fabulous.

And then… the shootout. As crazy as it was to decide this game that way, the international rules allowing the same player to shoot over and over after the first three are done is also insane.

But it sure was fun to watch T.J. Oshie and Russia’s Ilya Kovalchuk basically play one on one for a few minutes against two outstanding goalies. Oshie was like a magician out there; I thought for sure he was going to pull a puck out of his helmet or something. What a marvelous display of skill he put on.

It was a spectacular game, and I’m glad I got to see it. There’s been some backlash since about how overblown the media has been about this game, comparing it to 1980’s Miracle on ice, etc.

Of course those comparisons are absurd; that was for a gold medal against an indomitable powerhouse in the middle of the Cold War. This was a prelim game in 2014 matching two pretty equally-matched teams.

Still, it was thrilling to watch. And I can’t wait for this week’s hockey games, because they ought to be even better.

For the best take on Saturday’s game, I recommend the great SI writer Michael Farber, who wrote here.

**Next up, this was rocketing around the Internet this weekend, and for good reason. The actress Ellen Page, best known for starring in “Juno” (a fabulous movie, if you haven’t seen it), was scheduled to speak at a Human Rights campaign LGBT conference on Friday.

Her speech turned into a coming out of the closet for Page, but that’s almost incidental. Her words are so beautiful, and so poised, here. What a brave, wonderful speech.

**Finally today, a student at West Chester University in Pennsylvania had to make a layup, a free throw, a 3-pointer and a half-court shot in 30 seconds to win $10,000.

No problem. But watch the way he hits the half-court shot; truly amazing.

A Valentine’s Day edition of Good News Friday: 3 romantic scenes to make you smile

And a Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my readers; whether you love this holiday because you’re in love, hate it because you’re not (and believe me, I’ve been there), or you have no feelings about it whatsoever and believe it’s a totally made-up, Hallmark-invented day, I hope you have a great one.

My wife and I went out for a Valentine’s Day dinner Thursday night (because it’s cliche to do it on Valentine’s Day, we decided), and she suggested today’s blog be about the most romantic movie or TV scenes we like, in honor of V-Day.

So we batted around a bunch of ideas, eliminated all but three, and here we are. I’m sure these aren’t your three favorites, but hopefully they’ll at least make you smile a little.

Enjoy.

1. The end of “Sleepless in Seattle.” Yeah, the movie wasn’t a classic, but come on, the last scene at the Empire State Building is kind of great:

2. “An Officer and a Gentleman:” Nobody over the age of 30 needs an explanation as to this one.  Maybe the movie women of my generation reference most when it comes to a man sweeping a woman off her feet.

Damn you, Richard Gere. We’re all chasing after your image.

3. Alex and Ellen from “Family Ties.”

My favorite show as a kid, bar none. My favorite scene from my favorite show, bar none. A boy, his first true love, and a train station at three o’clock in the morning. What more could you want? (For the full episode, click here.)

So good.